Some of the following information about Plato and his NDE testimony about the soldier named Er are excerpts from Lee W. Bailey and Jenny Yates wonderful book, The Near-Death Experience: A Reader. Reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) are not a new phenomenon. Many NDEs have been reported for over the last two thousand years. Ancient religious texts such as the New Testament (367 AD), the Quran (632 AD), and the Tibetan Book of the Dead (1386 AD), for example, describe experiences of life after death which remarkably resemble modern NDEs. The oldest surviving explicit report of an NDE in Western literature comes from the famed Greek philosopher, Plato, who described an event, the "Myth of Er," in the tenth book of his legendary book entitled Republic written in 380 BC. The Myth of Er is a legend that concluded Plato's Republic which includes an account of the cosmos and the afterlife that greatly influenced religious, philosophical, and scientific thought for many centuries. The story begins as a man named Er, son of Armenios of Pamphylia, who died in battle.
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